Liturgical Season 11/15/04 World News
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Mary Page News items give insight into our interest areas, our outreach, and the many ways people honor Our Lady. We welcome your input and your comments.

Liturgical Season

To celebrate the month of November with Mary:

Marian Commemoration Days

Mary Page offers a variety of resources inviting study, reflection and meditation.  We also list important Marian dates for each month of the year.  Please see Marian Commemoration Days for the month of November.

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New Resources

A section on Marian Dogmas has been added to our Resources index.  The latest addition was The Virginity of Mary.  Expect more articles to follow.

A section on Marian Spiritualities has been added to our Resources index.  The latest addition was a paper by Fr. Eamon Carroll on The Marian Spirituality of Carmelites.  Expect more articles to follow.

A section on international stamps with images of Mary has also been added to our Resources index.  The latest updated was United States.  Expect more countries to follow.

A section on Mary and Women is now under construction in our Resources index.  The latest addition was Mary Shows Us God's Respect For Women.  Expect more articles to follow.

We recently updated The Hail Mary in Foreign Languages.  We also posted our answer to a reader's question: What about Nicolo Barbino's Madonnas?

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  News from the Marian Library

We have received a number of emails from readers commending our Mary Page web site.  Thank you all for your encouragement and support.  The following comment is a typical example:


I was just looking around the net ... and did a little Google search on "Mary." I found your page, and found it very interesting. By the way, I am not Catholic, I am Christian ... Anyway you have a great site with great information. God Bless You.


MSA Call for Papers

The next meeting of the Mariological Society of America will take place at the Marie Joseph Spiritual Center in Biddeford, Maine, May 18-22, 2005.  The theme will be "Mary, Eschatological Icon of the Church."

"Mary, Eschatological Icon of the Church" is the title of a section of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (972) and also of an address of Pope John Paul II given on March 21, 2001.  This MSA program will develop the following: Mary as Type of the Church, as Image of Freedom, as Model for the Church's Identity and Mission; the Assumption as Human Destiny and Anticipation of the Resurrection; Mary's Queenship and Role as Intercessor.

Papers are welcome which explore these images in Scripture, the Christian spiritual tradition, art and iconography, classical and contemporary theology.  Submit a 500 word proposal which should include a tentative title and a description of the thesis.  If you are proposing a panel, please include a list of the participants (no more than 3) and a description of each person's role.  Proposals must be submitted to MSA Secretariat (Marian Library) by December 1, 2004.

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Alumni Update

Fr. Louis A. Bonacci, S.J., was recently named Editor of the Shepherds of Christ Newsletter. Fr. Bonacci is a Jesuit from the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus and a member of the Jesuit Community at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania.  He has been a certified Campus Minister for many years and recently taught Theology at the University of Scranton as an adjunct instructor.  He also worked as a spiritual director and gave the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.  Presently, he is adjunct instructor at Misericordia College in Dallas, Pa.

In 2002, he completed the requirements for an S.T.D. at the International Marian Research Institute in Dayton, OH, writing his thesis on The Marian Presence in the Life and Works of Ignatius Loyola: Private Revelation to Spiritual Exercises.  The Newsletter of the Shepherds of Christ is available in print, online, and also on CD and audio tape as read by Fr. Bonacci.

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Exhibit Extended!

Symbols of Grace: Emblems of the Immaculate Conception

Rare engravings reproduced by The Society for the Preservation of the Roman Catholic Heritage will be shown at The Marian Library Gallery through December 15, 2004, Mon.-Fri., 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.  Free and open to the public!  For more information, call 937-229-4214.  For more information click into, Gallery.

Crèches and Stamps will also be on display in our museum.

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Collaboration with Catholic.net

An important Catholic web site, www.catholic.net, has added a section on the Virgin Mary to the top of their list of 'channels.'  They plan to highlight particular items from The Mary Page and to encourage their audience to visit our site.  Please visit their site in return.  We expect more collaboration with them in the future.

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International Marian Research Institute Course Schedule

IMRI courses for the Fall 2004 semester commenced on October 18.  The course schedule through Fall 2005 is now available.

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Marian Events

Marian Festival

A Marian Festival will be held December 8-12 in honor of the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of the dogma of Mary's Immaculate Conception and of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas.  On December 8 at 7 pm a Festival Mass will be held at St. Augustine Church in Belleville, IL.  A display of Madonnas with over 70 images will be held at St. Mary's Church in Belleville on Dec 10-11.  On Dec. 12 at 2 pm, Bishop Wilton Gregory will conclude the festival with a Prayer Service at the Cathedral.  Figures of Baby Jesus from home nativity sets will be blessed.  A reception will follow immediately afterward.  Click here for details.

Click this link for a list of all of the current Marian Events by geographical position.

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Prayer Corner Requests

You are invited to help us pray for our Prayer Corner intentions.  Please take a look!  This site has been updated and enhanced and now allows users to directly submit prayer requests or to volunteer as a prayer partner for these intentions!

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News from Around the World

Sicily and the Immaculate Conception (VIS)

In a letter dated October 18 to Cardinal Salvatore De Giorgi, archbishop of Palermo, Italy, and President of the Sicilian Episcopal Conference, the Holy Father expressed his "spiritual presence" at the October 24 Eucharistic celebration in Palermo that concluded a week of prayer and reflection preparatory to celebrations in Sicily to mark the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.  The Pope noted that, in the 17th century, the city of Palermo officially asked the Holy See to proclaim this dogma, adding that "the Immaculate Conception was proclaimed the principal patroness of all Sicily, with the faithful committed to professing and defending this truth, to the point of dying for it ... In 1850, the Sicilian episcopacy, answering a query by Pope Pius IX, unanimously expressed their hope that this dogma would be proclaimed, affirming that the belief in the Immaculate Conception of Mary was an integral and undeniable part of the patrimony of faith and piety of the Christian people of the island."

VIS 041108 (340)

From Zenit

Our Lady of Zapopan

Zapopan, Mexico, Oct. 13, 2004 (Zenit.org)

More than 4 million people expressed their devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary in this city near Guadalajara by participating in a 5-kilometer pilgrimage.

The event was capped Tuesday by a solemn concelebrated Mass in the Basilica of Our Lady of Zapopan, presided over by Cardinal Juan Sandoval Íñiguez, archbishop of Guadalajara.  He was accompanied by dozens of cardinals.

Attendance at the celebration in Zapopan, which combined faith with pre-Hispanic traditions, went beyond all expectations.

Every year, on Oct. 12, more than 2 million faithful usually venerate the Virgin of Zapopan.  Preliminary reports estimated that twice that number flocked to the basilica or took part in the procession Tuesday.


Mary and the Last Words of Christ

Rome, Nov. 4, 2004 (Zenit.org)

The last words of Christ, more than the rest, are full of "spirit and life because in some way they contain and express the truth of all the others" and "put a seal on them," explained Msgr. Piero Coda while addressing students of the "Gloria Crucis Choir" at Lateran University.

Msgr. Coda explains that in the word in which Christ says to his mother, "'Woman, behold your son!'  Then he says to the disciple: 'Behold your mother!'" that "Jesus separates his mother from himself; proof of the abandonment he must and wills to face in the most perfect solitude.  But in the very act of separating himself from Mary, he invites her to live herself, in the first person, an act of faith as great as his own."

"Mary's yes" in this trial--which recalls the sacrifice of the son of his old age that the Lord asks of Abraham--is silent, "a dumb yes, with a naked soul that is s wound," "it is s greater yes--if it were possible--than that pronounced at the angel's annunciation," he added."

According to Msgr. Coda, in this way "Mary's plan opens up in an unexpected flowering" and "she, who was the mother of the firstborn, is given to us from the cross by Jesus as the mother of many brothers and sisters."


Mary, Model of Communication

Castel Gandolfo, Italy, Nov. 10, 2004 (Zenit.org)

The challenge facing professional communicators is to promote dialogue, the centrality of the person, and communion, say conferees at an international congress.

The congress, whose theme was "Silence and Word: The Light," was held Nov. 5-7 at the Mariapolis Center of Castel Gandolfo, south of Rime.

It was organized by Net One, worldwide network of communicators and projects that stems from the charism of the Focolare Movement.

Chiara Lubich, founder of the Focolare Movement, addressed the meeting via a videoconference in which she spoke about "Mary as Model of Communication, Encouragement, and Example for Us."


Women's Studies, Christian and Marian Style

ROME, NOV. 9, 2004 (Zenit.org)

The "Woman and Christianity" program at Rome's Marianum theological faculty has been inaugurated with the first public lecture entitled "For a History of Woman."

Servant of Mary Father, Silvano Maggiani, rector of the faculty, said that "in the courses of the chair, theology is taught in a feminine vein," emphasizing that an attempt is made to go "ever more profoundly into the mystery of Mary, the woman of Nazareth."

The public lecture was given by professor Stella Morra, an expert in mysticism and lecturer at the Gregorian University.

The chair of the program is held by Cettina Militello, president of the Italian Society of Theological Research.

An objective of the program is to study the relationship between woman and Mary of Nazareth. In this context, it seeks to "evaluate the influence that Mary's figure has had in the way of conceiving the person-woman, her dignity and her role in society and in the Church," explained the organizers.

For more information, contact marianum@marianum.it.


Stay Close to Mary, Advises John Paul II

VATICAN CITY, NOV. 9, 2004 (Zenit.org)

Mindful of the rapid changes that mark contemporary society, John Paul II encouraged Catholics to maintain their relationship with the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The Pope explained this in a letter sent to Cardinal Salvatore De Giorgi, archbishop of Palermo, congratulating him for Sicily's celebration of the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary.

"In a rapidly changing world, there are some things that should not change," the Holy Father wrote. "Among them, surely, is the bond of filial love between members of the Church and the Virgin, 'full of grace,' whom Jesus, from the cross, entrusted to us as Mother."

"Amid the joys and hopes, sadness and sorrows of life, Mary is the sign of consolation and sure hope," he stated.

"She is so for the elderly and youth, for families and consecrated persons," the Holy Father added, imploring "the maternal protection of Mary Immaculate."


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Mary in the Secular Press

The director and editors of Mary Page under the auspices of the International Marian Research Institute do not necessarily endorse or agree with the events and ideas expressed in this feature. Our sole purpose is to report on items about Mary gleaned from a myriad of papers representing the secular press.

Ultra-orthodox Jews 'must stop religious abuse' [Source: The Observer, 10/17/2004]

JERUSALEM'S Christian community has demanded that Jewish leaders and the Israeli government take action against what they claim is growing harassment of their clergy by religious Jews. Christians say ultra-Orthodox Jewish students spit at them or at the ground when they pass. There have also been acts of vandalism against statues of the Virgin Mary.

The harassment came to a head last week when a Jewish student spat at Armenian Archbishop Nourhan Manougian and ripped off his crucifix, whereupon the archbishop slapped him. The police questioned both men. Mainstream Israeli opinion has been revolted by the revelations of the abuse of Christian clergy. Avraham Poraz, the interior minister, condemned the trend of spitting at the cross and those wearing it, saying it was 'intolerable' and that he was 'revolted' by it. A former chief rabbi also voiced his outrage.

All the Christian groups complain of harassment, but the Armenians bear the brunt. Armenian clergymen said that, when they complained to the interior minister seven months ago, he told them: 'Most Jews have a big problem with them as well.' The 3,000-strong community live in the Armenian quarter and many Jews walk through it on their way from west Jerusalem to the Wailing Wall or Western Wall.

Father Pakrad Bourjekian, a spokesman for the Armenian church, said the attack was an extreme example of the harassment they receive every day. 'Every day the fanatical Jews turn their face to the wall or spit on the ground or at us when they see the crucifix,' he said. The Christians admit that it is only a minority who carry out the abuse; but they feel that the issue is being ignored by religious leaders. Bishop Aris Shirvanian of the Armenian church said: 'The majority are courteous or indifferent. The problem is the very religious. It's a question of education. What must these people be learning to behave like this?'

The old city of Jerusalem is buzzing with rumours that young Armenians will take revenge for the attack and the daily indignities suffered by their priests. Bishop Aris acknowledged that there was a danger of reprisals. 'We are trying to control our young people; and we are succeeding. But the question is that there is no one in the Jewish community trying to control their fanatics,' he said. Father Pakrad added: 'There is no hierarchy. Anyone can become a rabbi, set up an institution, get funds from abroad and teach what they like.' Jerusalem has always been a city of conflict. Even the old Christian churches--the Armenian, Orthodox, Coptic, Syrian, Ethiopian and Catholic--are known for their disputes, which regularly result in brawls. In the current dispute, the Muslims, the old city's biggest group, are, for once, not involved. 'I do not think these Jews would dare spit at a Muslim sheikh; the whole city would explode. We are only a small group, so it easy to bully us,' said Bishop Aris.


IT IS every art collector's dream: beneath clumsy over-painting and the murk of centuries, restorers cleaning an ancient oil painting find an unknown work by an Old Master. Paulino Gimenez, an art restorer from Malaga, announced at the weekend, after 10 months of investigation, that a privately owned painting attributed to Salvador Maella, a lesser contemporary of the Spanish painter Francisco de Goya, was the work of the master himself.

The Goya is known as the "Inmaculada" (The Immaculate Virgin) and shows the Virgin Mary standing on clouds gazing into heaven. It is valued at EUR3m (pounds 2.1m) and auction houses are competing to take charge of the sale. The work is thought to have been painted around 1781 when Goya--then 35 and already winning important commissions--was painting similar works.

"Through X-rays and chemical investigation of the pigment and the canvas we have found several similarities between this painting and another Goya of the same period, in particular a so-called hidden face typical of Goya's work, a cat, which is the cloud on which the Virgin stands," said Mr Gimenez.

Not content with his own conclusions, Mr Gimenez sought the help of a chemical scientist, Enrique Parra Crego of Madrid's Analytical Laboratory for the Restoration and Conservation of Artworks. Dr Crego concluded that the preparation, materials and canvas were "consistent with the attribution to Francisco de Goya." In particular, the "Inmaculada" shows similarities with two of Goya's best-known works that hang in the Prado Museum in Madrid. They are the twin scenes of Madrid's ill-fated revolt against Napoleon's occupying troops in 1808, El Dos de Mayo and El Tres de Mayo the Second and Third of May.

Furthermore, details of the "Inmaculada" are comparable to a similar work, Asunta, that Goya painted in 1781, particularly the face of one of the angels, and a shadow cast on the Virgin's arm. That painting is privately owned. "Everything suggests that both works were created by Goya at around the same date," says Mr Gimenez.

Another comparable painting is a Goya crucifixion in the Prado. The painting, dated between the late Baroque era and the beginnings of Neoclassicism, was taken to Mr Gimenez's workshop in Malaga in January in an appalling state. The canvas was not only ravaged by the passage of more than two centuries, but had been inexpertly over-painted to obscure its original religious nature, and repeatedly re-varnished.

This is not the first unrecognised Goya to have been been recently discovered. Last year, two previously unknown works were found by chance, when experts went to value another painting in a collector's home in Madrid. They found one Goya on a bedroom wall and another lurking in a dark corridor. The owner had no idea who painted the works and had considered them of little value. But Mr Gimenez had every reason to be cautious before going public with his discovery. In 1996, the director of the Prado, Jose Maria Luzon, was swept from office in disgrace after he announced with huge fanfare the discovery of a hitherto unknown Goya. That painting, described by Mr Luzon as "a cracker of a Goya", turned out to be the work of Maella. A preliminary sketch was even logged in the Prado's own records as a Maella.

KEEPING THE FAITH [Source: Times-Picayune (New Orleans), 10/2/2004]

What do you get when you cross a region's passion for lawn ornamentation with its extensive population of devout Catholics? You get a lot of the Blessed Mother on lawns. Whether the Virgin Mary appears in porcelain or plaster or made out of wood with a fluorescent light-bulb for a halo, many people see the yard as the perfect place to express their commitment to their faith.

Her representation in statuary is often beautiful, sometimes slightly whimsical and occasionally, only to the untrained eye, perhaps a tiny bit crass. But what always seems to elevate statues of the Virgin Mary above such earthly concerns is that her owners hold such passionate faith in her presence. The statues seem to stand simultaneously as sentinels, and as harbingers of hope and goodness. What more could you ask of a lawn ornament?

Festival to honor military, Virgin Mary; Prayer service will be held after march [Source: Times-Picayune (New Orleans), 9/30/2004]

The ninth annual Fiesta de la Concepcion, a rosary march sponsored by the Canary Islands Descendants Association, will be held Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. on the grounds of the Canary Islands Descendants Association Museum, 600 St. Bernard Parkway, near St. Bernard State Park. The celebration is free and is being held to pray for the safe return of military personnel.

"La Concepcion honors the Virgin Mary," said Barbara Robin, association president. "Concepcion also is part of our heritage, because she was the first patron saint of St. Bernard, and Concepcion was the name of the original settlement of Canary Islanders in St. Bernard Parish."

The celebration is patterned after local festivals in the townships throughout the Canary Islands, where similar processions are held to honor the feast days of saints, the Blessed Mother and liturgical feast days. "In the Canary Islands, they carry the statue of the Virgin Mary on her feast day," Robin said. "We did carry her for the first couple of years, but the ground is uneven, and our men are getting older, so now we have her in a case displayed under a tent."

The local event will feature a rosary procession on the museum grounds along the Mississippi River levee road, Robin said. Those who do not want to walk in the 20-minute procession will have access to chairs under a tent, she said. The procession will follow the tree-lined road, stopping at five points along the way marked with religious markers to say the different parts of the rosary, Robin said.

As they walk, association members will carry a 20-foot-long rosary made of rope and floats from a trawling net. Made by association member Roy Campo, the rosary also features a 4-foot-long cross made from palmetto leaves, Robin said. Flowers also will be available for participants to carry during the procession and lay at the feet of the La Concepcion statue if they wish, Robin said.

The procession will be led by the Rev. Kyle Dave of Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Violet, altar servers and Knights of Columbus members. The march will end at a tent housing a statue of La Concepcion. The statue, carved by Rodney Assevado, also bears the work of 15 local artisans, Robin said. A prayer service with scripture readings will be celebrated by Father Kyle after the march.

Robin said the event is geared to families, and entertainment will include performances by Irvan Perez, who will sing decimas, 10-stanza songs sung in the 17th century dialect of the original Canary Island settlers. "We want to pass this on to future generations and to people who don’’t have contact with our heritage," Robin said. "We would like people to come out and pray the rosary for the safe return of our troops, to enjoy our grounds and be a part of our activities."

The museum, which is furnished as a house from the 1930s to 1950s, will be open for tours. "Our trapper's camp, which was built to show schoolchildren another way of life out in the marsh, also will be open," Robin said. Festivities are being organized by the association in cooperation with Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Violet. Parishioners from San Pedro Pescador Church in Florissant and St. Bernard Catholic Church in St. Bernard community also will participate.

Parking is available in the field between the museum and the Good Samaritan Center. The Canary Islands Descendant's Association has 325 members. The group meets the second Monday of the month at 7:30 p.m. at Lynn Oaks School. Annual dues are $5 per year, with dues waived for those over 70. For more information, call Robin at 682-5696.

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